January 26, 2012
For example, each person on Earth uses roughly 440 lbs. of steel annually with much of this used in the built environment as buildings (42%) and infrastructure (14%). What is remarkable is if that we wish to mitigate climate change by 2050, we will need to decrease per capita steel use at current production emission levels 75% to 25% of current per capita totals.
The eight authors propose that to achieve significant emission reductions for these five resources by 2050 so as to meet a 2°C climate change stabilization target we should promote:
- Using less material by design
- Yield improvement
- Delaying product end-of-life
- Re-using metal without melting
- Reducing final demand for services
To fully achieve 2°C climate change stabilization target outcomes means we must understand and quantify the embedded emissions associated with the use of these five prime materials in a manner that architects, urban planners, manufacturing engineers and the general public can decrease their use of these products and their associated emissions significantly. "Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open" is an excellent resource for attempting to understand the incredibly complex and interdependent nature of modern business, construction, and material usage and the challenges faced to implement positive change.
UIT Cambridge Ltd. has put together a great website for the book, with free, downloadable text, and supplementary materials so that we can more fully understand the actions today we can take within our organizations and as individuals to decrease our use of these five materials: steel, aluminum, plastic, paper, and cement.
How to order:
Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open: Future Buildings, vehicles, products and equipment – made efficiently and made with less new material
Paperback: 384 Pages
Publisher: UIT Cambridge Ltd.
Authors: Julian M. Allwood and Jonathan M. Cullen with Mark A. Carruth, Daniel R. Cooper, Martin McBrien, Rachel L. Milford, Muiris C. Moynihan, and Alexandra CH Patel
Gabriel Thoumi, CFA is a frequent contributor to Mongabay.com. Tom Cox, LEEP AP is a leader in sustainable architecture and landscape architecture.
Eco-toilets help save hippos and birds in Kenya
(01/04/2012) It may appear unintuitive that special toilets could benefit hippos and other wetland species, but the Center for Rural Empowerment and the Environment (CREE) has proven the unique benefits of new toilets in the Dunga Wetlands on Lake Victoria's Kenyan side. By building ecologically-sanitary (eco-san) toilets, CREE has managed to alleviate some of the conflict that has cropped up between hippos and humans for space.
11 challenges facing 7 billion super-consumers
(10/31/2011) Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about Halloween this year is not the ghouls and goblins taking to the streets, but a baby born somewhere in the world. It's not the baby's or the parent's fault, of course, but this child will become a part of an artificial, but still important, milestone: according to the UN, the Earth's seventh billionth person will be born today. That's seven billion people who require, in the very least, freshwater, food, shelter, medicine, and education. In some parts of the world, they will also have a car, an iPod, a suburban house and yard, pets, computers, a lawn-mower, a microwave, and perhaps a swimming pool. Though rarely addressed directly in policy (and more often than not avoided in polite conversations), the issue of overpopulation is central to environmentally sustainability and human welfare.
From Red to Green? How the Financial Credit Crunch Could Bankrupt the Environment - a book review
(09/19/2011) Paul Donovan and Julie Hudson, CFA argue in From Red to Green? How the Financial Credit Crunch Could Bankrupt the Environment that twin credit crunches – both environment and financial – have been underway for some time. With chapters on food, water, energy, infrastructure, housing, consumer durables, health, education, work and leisure accompanied by a thorough economic analysis regarding both credit and environmental debts driving supply and demand of these goods and services, the authors discuss at length how global economics may be impacted in an environmentally constrained future.